Art & Development

odds and ends

1.
I think the conceptual artist Glenn Ligon is fantastic. And I, for one, think Americans should be proud to have the Obamas in the White House. So it totally floats my boat that the Obama family has selected a work by Ligon for display in their home.

2.
I was right! Fred Tomaselli’s lecture was great — brisk, jocular and razor-sharp. Again, there’s nothing like hearing a thoughtful, well-spoken artist share his narrative of artistic development. Plus, his work is so stunning! My colleagues and I were unanimously impressed and inspired.

This coming Monday, October 12, Xu Tan, who’s currently showing his Keywords project at YBCA, is speaking at SFAI.

3.
Pae White’s exhibition at the Mills College Art Museum closes in 10 days. I saw the show’s iteration at New Langton Arts, where it blew my mind.

4.
It seems to be a good time to read.
Research is critical for my studio momentum. Here are texts I hope to synthesize into my art practice soon:

Calvin Tomkins’ profile of Bruce Nauman, “Western Disturbances,” The New Yorker, June 1, 2009, p. 68
(Reassuringly, Nauman’s studio practice also involves a lot of sitting, reading and thinking. I also love how the author characterizes Nauman’s work as “uningratiating.” I am driven to make work that’s also rather unspectacular, though I’ve yet to shake the urge to apologize for its visual paucity. It seems pointless and maybe a bit classist, but it’s true, people still like big, colorful, spectacular art.)

In “Thinking literally: The surprising ways that metaphors shape your world” (Boston Globe, September 27, 2009), Drake Bennett describes psychologists who are uncovering how metaphors are crucial tools in human thought. I find the writing style a bit too commercial, but I’m enjoying the idea that scientific research can validate the intuitive decisions involved in making phenomenological installations. Perhaps there is a sensory, non-literal, common ground through which an installation artist can communicate with her audience, without an intellectual interpretation….

I think this idea might work well in parallel with “Against Interpretation” by Susan Sontag.

Benedict Carey’s “How Nonsense Sharpens the Intellect” (NYTimes.com, October 5, 2009) seems like another great, timely reference, because it touches on the ideas of aberrations (which I’ve been thinking about since the Galaxy show at BAM), and seems to related to the slightly-off effects my viewer-oriented installations aspire to create.

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